Activity time: 25 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 2, Pita Bread Recipe
- Recipe ingredients for pre-made dough:
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- Identical recipe ingredients for participants to mix
- Small mixing bowl
- Large mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Rolling surface
- Extra flour for rolling surface
- Two baking sheets
- Cooling rack
- Several loaves of commercial pita bread
Preparation for Activity
- Follow the instructions for making pita bread dough and set it to rising 2 1/2 to 3 hours ahead of the workshop. Alternatively, ask a participant to prepare the dough and bring it to the workshop.
- Set out ingredients and prepare a suitable space for cooking.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Description of Activity
Ask participants to wash hands before cooking. Look at a loaf of commercial pita bread and tear it apart to see the pocket inside. Explain that pita bread looks similar to what the Hebrews would have eaten in Egypt, before they went into the wilderness. Show them the risen dough and explain that they are going to make more dough, but that it takes two or three hours to rise, so some dough has already been rising.
Ask one participant to measure the warm water into the small bowl and another to add the sugar. Invite a third to put in the yeast and stir. Then leave the mixture alone for five minutes. Measure the flour into the large mixing bowl and put a depression into the center of the flour. Call attention to the look of the yeast, noting that it is foamy because it is a live plant and is growing in the presence of water and sugar. Slowly pour the yeast and water mixture, as well as the olive oil, into the depression in the flour. Mix until it makes a doughy mixture, and then set it aside. This mixture will not be eaten in the course of the workshop; it is for demonstration purposes.
Shape the prepared dough into a thick rope and cut the rope into six sections. Invite participants to shape each section into a ball. Place each ball onto a floured surface and roll it into a four or five inch circle. Place the circles on the baking sheets and place in the oven. Bake for five or six minutes and do not open the oven during this time. Take the bread out of the oven when it is light brown, putting it on a rack to cool.
While the bread is baking and cooling, tear the commercial bread into bite-sized pieces and place in a basket to be shared during the closing worship.
Including All Participants
If you have one or more participants who are sensitive to gluten, consult with them in advance and provide a bread that they can eat. Cut or tear it into bite-sized pieces and put it in a different basket from the one containing pita bread.